Guidelines for the footwear industry post Lock-Down
When the current lock-down is eventually behind us and the green light has been given by the South African Government along with the health department that it is safe to return to work, our industry will be able to do so, but along with a lot of new measures and controls in place (based on learning from China)
FLIC has put together below, a list of (recommended) preventative measures and procedures, that manufacturers will need to follow. These recommended measures could be subject to change from time to time according to recognized best practice. Some of this planning could be done during the lock-down period by the individual factories.
1) The entire workplace and factory as well as outside areas where people will be during breaks needs to be disinfected and sanitized with suitable disinfectants as stipulated by the Health Dept. This must be carried out weekly and more often if feasible. Sanitation of the factory workplace and equipment should be carried out every four hours as recommended internationally.
2) An exhaustive employee list including learners in training on factory floors or classrooms should be drawn up. Information regarding the whereabouts of each employee for the 14 days prior to work being resumed. should be added to the lists. Keep the list handy for the health department if they come to check on factories.
3) All employees on arrival at work each morning must have their temperatures taken before entering the premises. Any employee found to have a temperature in excess of 37.4 degrees must be isolated and sent for testing. They should not be allowed to enter the premises.
4) Temperature readings should also be taken again after the lunch break before the worker returns to his/her workstation (optional).
5) A cloth, surgical or N95 mask, should be worn at all times by all employees including staff and management. Factories must provide their employees the correct masks. If the masks are washable then the employees are responsible for washing these daily prior to the next working day.
6) Hand washing for at least 20 seconds with soap and water should be carried out by all, before work commences and after all breaks. Interim hand washing is also to be encouraged without it impacting on production.
7) Currently 70% alcohol-based hand sanitizers are widely used and are effective. Hand sanitizer dispensers may also be provided at accessible points at factory floor. Innovative sanitizer spray booths/stations, fabricated/customized are available.
8) There must be no group gatherings of more than three people in the workplace as well as in the workers free time. These gatherings must also observe the social distance gap of 1.5 – 2.0 meters.
9) The workspace environment needs to be re-laid where necessary to observe the minimum social distance of 1.5m – 2.0 meters in all directions of the individual worker.
10) All office space layouts to adhere to the social distance rule of 1.5 – 2.0 meters.
11) Any meetings held must take place in a suitably laid out environment observing social distancing of 1.5 -2.0 meters between participants.
12) Wherever possible staff should try their best to limit the number of physical meetings with suppliers and customers. Teleconference meetings should be encouraged wherever possible.
13) Any outside visitors on arrival, must have their temperatures taken as well as be provided with soap and water to wash their hands with, prior to meeting the person they came to visit. This meeting needs to take place in a correctly laid out environment observing the social distance.
14) Any truck arriving from a supplier must have been disinfected prior to a load being delivered. The delivery note should stipulate this has been done by the supplier prior to loading the goods to be delivered. The same should happen with outgoing deliveries from the individual factories.
15) All high frequency touch zones such as doorknobs, toilet seats and handles, machine surfaces, transport vessels among others should be wiped down at least 2 – 3 times per day with the specified disinfectant as prescribed by the health department.
16) Common sense should prevail with regards to personal hygiene and should always be carried out by all employees. Extra care should be taken too avoid touching one’s face.
17) Disregarding any of the above recommended protocols could be deemed as a serious offence. These regulations are put in place in place to protect, not punish. Buy-in from the Unions at plant level is to be sought so that they can communicate to their members the seriousness and dangers of committing a health-related offence.
Whilst FLIC has attempted to put together the above list of minimum recommendations and guidelines, you are reminded that it is your companies’ responsibility to comply with the applicable regulations as amended from time to time. The implementation of the above is the responsibility of the individual factories. FLIC absolves itself of any responsibility for the above measures being implemented and monitored.
Below is a link to the WHO website on advice for the workplace for further information
Further documentation containing relevant information and reading material for the Owner / HR dept to print out and digest prior to implementation of the recommended guidelines.
The FLIC team
Discussion document on retail scenario’s post Covid-19
This working document covers FLIC’s perspective of the current situation with retail. It outlines the contributing factors and proposals on the way forward. It is intended to illicit comment as well as inputs from interested parties.
The external factors that we do not have influence over.
· Less than 5% economic growth predicted
· Tax collections down
· Bad debt will grow
· Downgrades “crisis on crisis”
· Exchange rate now over R18 to 1USD
· Edcon Risk
· Covid-19 and Lock-down
The internal factors that we do have some influence over.
· Cancelled orders and build-up of WIP and components
· Minimal financial concessions for big firms.
· Factories have zero forward orders
· Industry unable to plan.
All the uncertainty is creating anxiety and panic. We need cool heads to manage this crisis and explore creative ways to trade out of this Black Hole.
The way forward requires us to focus on factors that we can influence.
· Capacity planning going forward will be dependent on Retailer demand.
· Cancellations were not exclusive to local factories. Imports have been affected as well.
· This demand will be based on revised Merchandise Strategies. Buy-Plans will be amended based on forward sales projections and current SOH.
· It is doubtful that Retailers will be planning massive sales increases. The size of the cake will be smaller and we have to ensure that local gets a bigger slice of that cake.
· Given the worst-case scenario, with a July lifting of the Lock-down (not based on any forward knowledge) retail will require stock for second half Summer (Oct Nov Dec) after clearance sales during the period July to Sept. Factories to use the demand to clear WIP and components. The biggest sales promotion outside of Christmas is BLACK FRIDAY. Great time to clean out the component and material stockrooms.
· Financial concessions - we will be starting on a clean slate. Now is the time to re-negotiate with all role players.
· Additional protection and funding from government is unlikely, a new approach to the Industry is vital. This must be in line with the RCTFL Master plan. (e.g. Do we still close during the busiest period when our competition is open to the world)
· Forward Orders will be based on industries ability to deliver on shorter lead times. Target a 50% reduction in the number of days from concept to delivery through the reduction of waste. Most of the waste occurs in the Pre-Production phase.
· We can speed up lead times with the use of technology, incorporating our 3D design capability and rapid prototyping. Clear and concise briefs are vital. Retail will have to drive change with improved sample approval processes.
· What is the new norm for productivity during the production process? Factory layouts require revision to accommodate social distancing regulations. This can include efficiency improvements.
· The logistics phase needs a total revamp. Production and raw material costs were coming down, yet the packaging requirements are becoming increasingly expensive. The cost to move a pair of shoes from factory to the distribution centers, is far too high.
· We know which categories of footwear will be in demand for the OCT to DEC period (Sandals). Start creating options during the lock-down using technology.
· A category that will not be affected is school shoes, despite the potential loss of EDCON sales. The demand will be there – other retailers will pick up the slack. The same applies to Government tenders.
· China will not be able to compete with local on the shorter lead times (30 days transit plus port congestion). The whole world will soon be going back to China. Prices will increase because of demand.
· Exchange rates will reduce appetite to buy offshore. As an example, a shoe costing FOB $5 = R97.87 (based on R14.50/$1.00) The same product at R19.00/$1.00 calculates to R128.25. (31.03% difference)
This document is a collection of broad stroke ideas based on our observations and learnings to date. What we do know is that the way we operated in the past was not working. We were in trouble long before the lockdown and we have an opportunity to press the reset button.
We believe that with changed mindsets, collaboration and innovation the Industry can be kickstarted!!!!!
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